Diplomacy: Big Willy Style

puduhead

New member
alg_euna-laura.jpg


Bill Clinton's unofficial/official diplomacy on behalf of these women - well, I think he's a real champ.

I am wondering how this would have played out under the Bush administration?

Anyway, happy stuff. BTW, I really enjoy Laura Ling's documentaries for Current TV (Although she may find it more difficult doing invasive reporting in the future).

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And then there was this:


http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200908050009


Pretty awesome stuff. Let's see if Republicans can even further marginalize themselves... Juicy!
 
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VT-Vincent

New member
I think Bill Clinton should be commended for ensuring the safety of these two women. As for Dick Morris, it's very easy to be an armchair general hawking books in a 10 minute spot on the cable news stations but I have to wonder what his opinion would be if it were one of his loved ones in the clutches of a pig dictator.

I think if he's ever put in this type of situation, the State Dept. should keep his advice in mind.
 

InVerse

New member
From everything I've seen, Bill Clinton didn't have a whole lot to do with the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Apparently, the State Department brokered the entire deal in which Kim Jong-Il agreed to pardon the women if Bill Clinton were to meet with him in Pyongyang. Now, Clinton should be commended for doing his part, but a lot of people (myself included, initially) seem to be under the mistaken impression that he personally brokered the deal.

I, for one, was extremely happy with what went down. It had been pissing me off to no end that the media wasn't covering this more extensively and that President Obama had barely mentioned it himself. The fact that they were apparently working on this for quite awhile behind the scenes makes me wonder what other good things they might have up their sleeves that we don't know about yet.

This now makes two times this year that American journalists have been arrested for doing their job and then were later freed, the other being Roxana Saberi in Iran. (Interesting story, that one. Her arrest was so much bullshit that even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked the court to reconsider it's decision to imprison her.)

The newspaper industry may be dying, but it's nice to see that real journalists are still able to do their jobs and bring important information to the masses. Let's hope more of them figure out how to do it with the web before printed news goes the way of the dinosaurs.
 

Isildur

New member
It had been pissing me off to no end that the media wasn't covering this more extensively and that President Obama had barely mentioned it himself.

I'm sure that was deliberate, both on the part of the administration, and on the part of some of their colleagues. The less attention drawn to them, the less their value to NK as propaganda tools.


And yes, I'm sure plenty of negotiating went on behind the scenes without Bill, but on the other hand, he was a good person to use to carry out the conclusion. With leadership as erratic as North Korea, there's no such thing as a done deal until the promises have actually been fulfilled, and you need a good diplomat on the scene to make sure nothing goes awry at the last moment.

Clinton was picked for the job partly because the US administration wanted someone with no current official standing, so they could emphasize that they're not willing to officially negotiate with NK outside of Six-Party talks and to emphasize that captures like this (and their general belligerent behavior toward their neighbors) won't get them rewarded with the honor of an official visit. Personally, however, I can't help but wonder if some people in the administration were also thinking, "Whew, it's just as well that this isn't a situation that calls for the more standard proxy for a President, his VP." Had it been Biden that was sent, I don't find it hard to imagine him screwing the whole thing up at the last minute by unintentionally insulting the hyper-sensitive, egomaniacal Kim Jong-il through some slight mistake in wording.
 

InVerse

New member
Clinton was picked for the job because that's who Kim Jong-Il wanted. It was his version of Jimmy Carter coming to visit Kim Il-Sung in the 90s. Al Gore offered to go several months ago, since the women were working for him when they got arrested, but the Obama administration wouldn't let him.

Now, personally, if I were Kim Jong-Il, I would have demanded Trey Parker and Matt Stone come as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of them and their work, but I think it would be awesome to see Kim Jong-Il kick them in the nuts.

Of course, there's also the matter that Kim Jong-Il didn't actually do anything wrong in this particular case. Some people seem to think the journalists crossed over into North Korea accidentally, but I think it's pretty hard to cross a river by accident, especially when you're a journalist who has previously broadcast video of you illegally entering into other Asian countries. (And I'm not faulting Ling and Lee, their work is important, but they surely knew the risks of what they were doing.)

I'm not sure that I even really have a point, just throwing out random things that have been floating around in my head, unable to escape due to the fact that I live in a backwater part of the world where gizzards are gourmet food and journalists are considered communists.
 

puduhead

New member
Yeah that's true. I didn't mean to insinuate that Bill Clinton did this all. Quite simply, he is just the hero for being who he is hahah. Which is a pretty great way to save the day if you ask me.

Now to contrast all this victory of saving people from wrongful or excessive prosecution - I read through this the same day that story broke and it provided some really unsettling reality to the idea that now America is all fairness and rights and love and puppy dogs for its own.

[Democracy Now!]
EXCLUSIVE: John Walker Lindh’s Parents Discuss Their Son’s Story, from Joining the US-Backed Taliban Army to Surviving a Northern Alliance Massacre, to His Abuse at the Hands of US Forces

Poor young man is only halfway through his 20 year sentence for nothing more than serving in a civil war on the side that WE were backing until 9-11 at which point it was too late for him to get out of there, and he almost didn't... alive!
 
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puduhead

New member
Personally, however, I can't help but wonder if some people in the administration were also thinking, "Whew, it's just as well that this isn't a situation that calls for the more standard proxy for a President, his VP." Had it been Biden that was sent, I don't find it hard to imagine him screwing the whole thing up at the last minute by unintentionally insulting the hyper-sensitive, egomaniacal Kim Jong-il through some slight mistake in wording.


Haha yeah really. Biden isn't even an acceptable domestic diplomat. But he sure is fun. Not as fun as Vice President Palin, but a LOT safer.
 

Fla Flash

Staff (News -- Rom Hacking)
Haha yeah really. Biden isn't even an acceptable domestic diplomat. But he sure is fun. Not as fun as Vice President Palin, but a LOT safer.

You got that right.
As far as the whole situation was concerned, this was a no-lose situation for Clinton. And, in case anyone hadn't heard, it was Gore who first called him and asked him to go.

I wonder if Hilary was worried about him flying home with two women....
 

shawn

Active member
Hah. Biden is unbelievable. Half the time I'm not sure what to think of him.

I like him. He doesn't try to hide crap like most politicians and just talks like a real guy and he seems so comfortable in situations where most politicians would be shaking in their boots. If he runs for president I'd vote for him.
 

Isildur

New member
Clinton was picked for the job because that's who Kim Jong-Il wanted.

You're right; either the article I had read at the time didn't yet have this info or I remembered it incorrectly.

Not as fun as Vice President Palin, but a LOT safer.

The "Death Panel" looniness coming from her camp is mind-boggling. Granted, she may have some staffer doing those Twitter updates for her in her name, but either way, it hasn't been retracted, to my knowledge. It's scary that she was seriously considered for a job that would put her a heartbeat away from the presidency. It's even scarier that many people are still taking her seriously.
 
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